Caitlin Dempsey


Chorology is the study of places and regions, also referred to as regional geography.  Chronology stems from the Greek word khōros for “place” or “space” and the suffix -logy for study of.

Chorology looks at causal relations between geographical phenomena occurring within a particular region and the study of the spatial distribution of organisms.

Alfer Hettner (August 6, 1859 – August 31, 1941), a German geographer was the first main contemporary proponent of viewing the geography discipline as a chronological science, which studies diverse phenomena existing together in regions of the earth’s space.  Hettner proposed this approach in his methodological essay published in the first issue of his journal, Geographische Zeitschrift published in 1895.

The goal of the chorological point of view is to know the character of regions and places through comprehension of the existence together and interrelations among different realms of reality and their varied manifestations, and to comprehend the earth surface as a whole in its actual arrangement in continents, larger and smaller regions, and places.  (Hettner as quoted in Richard Hartshone’s The Nature of Geography, 1939).

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The earliest known reference to the study of geography from a regional perspective can be found in Strabo’s Geography where he wrote, The geographer is the person who attempts to describe parts of the earth.  (Geography, AD 18 – 24).


Cresswell, T. (2013). Geographic Thought: A Critical Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.

Dixshit, R.D. (1997). Geographical Thought: A Contextual History of Ideas. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.